Artist: Kings of Convenience

Date Released: July 27, 2004

Label: Astralwerks

Produced By:


  1. Homesick
  2. Misread
  3. Cayman Islands
  4. Stay Out of Trouble
  5. Know-How
  6. Sorry or Please
  7. Love is No Big Truth
  8. I'd Rather Dance with You
  9. Live Long
  10. Surprise Ice
  11. Gold in the Air of Summer
  12. The Build-Up


First of all, the Kings of Convenience are two Norwegians, Erlend Øye and Eirik Glambek Boe. Those of you familiar with electro-pop will recognize Øye from his DJ Kicks comps; well this is definitely not electro-pop. Riot on an Empty Street is a folk-pop record doused in acoustic ballads and excellent musicianship. The core of every song is the guitar (mostly acoustic) melody overlaid by the dual vocals of Øye and Boe. Their voices are sincere with just a touch of Europe interlaced, and they harmonize very, very well. Most songs lack percussion, and in the others, it is barely recognizable. Everything is subtle and very intimate, probably due to the extremely close microphone placement on every instrument and voice. It sounds as if they are just inches away from your speakers whispering their sad tales into your ears. The high points of the album are when they enlist soft horns (#9) and the delicate guest vocals of Broken Social Scene member Leslie Feist (Feist) (#5, 12). There is not really a bad song on here, and if you are into folk-pop, Simon & Garfunkel or even Norway, check it out. Mpardaiolo